It is all a Numbers Game
HMRC have shifted their focus from serious tax evaders unto middle-class tax evaders.
I am aware now that HMRC have initiated 617 prosecutions in 2012-2013 which is over twice the amount of the previous year.
As you will be aware HMRC are now focusing their attention on middle-class evaders.
Anyone who owes tax under £100,000 is likely to be prosecuted whereas prior to 2012 prosecutions at that level were small and unusual.
With the increase in lawyers now working for the CPS they are all anxious to prosecute cases. Lawyers don’t think about bringing in money, they only think about winning cases so they will prosecute as many as they can. The easier the case the better for them – it’s a number game.
Unfortunately there are prosecutions that quite frankly should not proceed because of mental illness, health problems and a number of other quite understanding problems that people go through in life that causes some delay to their usual business momentum.
However, it is clear they are now prophesying that they are going to double that again for next year and so it goes on. The issue that one considers is whether or not prosecutions actually bring in money.
HMRC are also going to take much more interest in the so-called schemes promoted to save tax. The schemes that boutique tax companies put forward as saving tax which quite frankly for the most part only defer the tax to later years when it attracts interest and penalties. HMRC are looking at these schemes to see whether they can be classed as tax evasion and, if so, whether they warrant a criminal prosecution.
But the funny thing is the more money you’re earning the more you’re attracted to these schemes. I suppose it’s a fingers crossed situation where you think well perhaps I’m one of them that’s not going to be investigated by HMRC then surprise, surprise 3-4 years later of course you do become investigated and then you are desperately trying to settle it in order to get on with your life.
Well yes, the truth is HMRC are going to take a much more American view of tax evasion, prosecute, imprison, take away your property, take away your money etc.
So there you are … anybody who’s not declared untaxed income should certainly think very carefully about making a voluntary declaration if only to avoid a criminal prosecution and at least have an opportunity of settling matters with a considerably lower penalty.
At the end of the day it’s much easier and, do you know what, you sleep at night.
Tax Fraud and Tax Evasion accusations are serious.
Have you received a tax enquiry from HMRC?